Street children “not disposable”, say UN experts

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Street children in Uganda. Photo: UNICEF Uganda

Every child matters and there are not throw-away children, say two United Nations independent experts on the International Day for Street Children.

The day is observed on 12 April around the world to raise awareness about street children and to promote their rights.

Cathrine Hasselberg has more.

According to the independent experts, who report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, there are up to 150 million street children worldwide.

The children endure great deprivation and rights violations with little to no regard give to their best interest, the experts say.

Children end up living on the street for a number of different reasons.

They're escaping poverty, inadequate housing, broken families, domestic violence, displacement, natural disasters or conflicts.

The experts call on states to revoke laws which criminalize homelessness through the prohibition of begging, vagrancy and loitering.

They stress that the key to changing the lives of children in street situations is ensuring where possible, their participation in the development of human rights based programmes and policies concerning them. 

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration: 0’51″

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